Friday, 13 September 2013

The Pheonix Rises! And then rests gently on its side while I make its base...

I finally finished painting something again! The main model of the High Elf Pheonix from games workshop.

From a technical perspective it isn't 'finished' as there are some parts of the models that are not completely painted and only received basic colour blocking. But these are all parts of the model that aren't usually visible and thus were parts I wanted to contrast with the bits that were focal - like under the wings. I made it so if they were visible from a position they weren't distracting or looked outright unpainted, but didn't spend a lot of time on them. This mini was neglected for quite a few weeks as the length of time it was taking to paint was burning me out. I ended up stopping when I decided I need to paint something else, rather than when I thought the mini was good and finished.

It was another one that I used to try out lots of new things on and so took far longer than it would if I sat down with a particular goal in mind and just steam rolled towards it. Nonetheless, even as a learning piece, I really like the way it came out.

I was going to sell it originally - been offered quite a lot of money for it actually - but I've decided to give it to my nan instead. I don't think she quite understands why I like painting models the size of my thumb but I know she will be over the moon to have something I've made given to her, and that is is far more worth it in my opinion. It's also the only model I've painted in a long time that isn't some kindof monster or vehicles, so the first one I think she will actually like having around!

I have also been improving my photography!

My favourite artistic look at the moment is the same kind as featured in the Torchlight games and to a lesser extent Borderlands. The piece of wall terrain from the Garden of Morr set showed it applied to a painted mini. I still want to get good at the more traditional style of mini painting that aims towards (relative) realism. On this one I decided to combine them so I didn't get bored and also because I thought I would end up with a better looking model. 

 The tail was repainted several times. Luckily it only takes half an hour in some diluted dettol to have it scrubbed completely clean and ready for painting again, so it wasn't too painful. At one point I had to redo it because it was painted perfectly and then I slathered it in wash instead of another piece of the model. Despite my best efforts it turned into a gloopy gritty mess.

You can see here that the gems aren't fully painted and that the underside is simple compared to the upper side. I tried to give the helmet good contract to make up for the fact that I wasn't doing much else fancy with it. 

Here's a breakdown of what I focused on and achieved across painting the model:

I worked on unifying the colours across the whole model. There's a balance of gold across all of it. I used the same shade of white/ivory as the final highlight across all of it to link all the different shades of blue/turqouise together.

I focused on creating higher contrast than I normally do by using the colour green in the turqouise base. I also used green to try and create temperature variation where the two parts of the wings meet. I applied lots of very thin blue/green washes between the feathers to deepen the colour chance.

On the individual tail feathers I used lots of tiny brushstrokes to simulate real feathers. It is harder to tell through photos but its given them lovely texture in person and sets them apart from the surrounding 'magical' feathers. Was also very zen.

I had to do lots of fancy hand work with the airbrush to get all the highlights and fades in the right places. The inside of my nostrils are still blue.

I also got some good freehand practice. All those white highlight lines were draw with a steady hand, rather than using edge lining. I can now paint short white lines like a pro.

I hope one day these new skills will serve me in life.

I am currently painting some high elves and swearing alot. Everytime I pick up a paintbrush it's like everything I know falls out of my head and I just stab wildly at the model shrieking 'Why it no work precious?!'.